Guide to Choosing Stop Roasts with Cooking Tips


One of the best and most impressive ways to cook meat is whole roast. From braising to oven roasting, cooking a big cut is both incredibly satisfying and delicious, perfect for a weekend dinner party or a holiday celebration. To tackle such a recipe, the first step is to get a high quality product. One of the best places to stock up on meat is at Stemple Creek in Marin County, California. Run by fourth generation farmer Loren Ponica and his wife Lisa, Stemple Creek is a family farm with a passion for high quality meat. Their quality is second to none with a clientele ranging from Michelin-starred restaurants to home cooks looking for more sustainable meat options. The best part? Stemple Creek products are available for shipment nationwide.

What makes Stemple Creek meat so special? Besides their animals being grass fed and grain fattened on organic pastures, Stemple Creek is also deeply involved in the Marin Carbon Project, focusing on regenerative farming practices that combat the effects of global warming. While Stemple Creek offers a wide variety of steaks and chops, some of their best options are their stellar large roasts. Cooking a whole roast properly requires different tips and techniques than a smaller steak or chop. To help you out, Stemple Creek is here to provide their ideas and advice on how to make your next roast dinner the best ever.


The different types of roasts

Roasted meat with carrots.

At Stemple Creek, there is a wide variety of potential cuts to choose from. For the three animals most commonly used for roasts – beef, lamb, and pork – butchering these animals is generally broken down the same way. This is because they are four-legged mammals with mostly similar body structures. The main difference will be the size (beef being the largest while lamb is the smallest), which means that each part of the animal will produce different sizes and meat ratios. For example, beef tenderloin and pork roast are common cuts, unlike lamb tenderloin. This is because a lamb tenderloin is too small to fit. Instead, the lamb tenderloin is cut from the loin chop, the same cut as the porterhouse or T-bone for the beef.

For the best roast beef at the center of the table, Stemple Creek recommends prime rib, top sirloin, or New York roasts. While less marbled, cuts like the top round or the eye of the round are also great if the plan is to roast and thinly slice. By thinly slicing these lean roasts, it guarantees optimal tenderness and texture. For lamb, Stemple Creek prefers the shoulder or thigh. But for those looking for something smaller, they recommend the sirloin. As for the pork, it likes roast sirloin and loin. A great thing about pork is that the skin is also delicious. For succulent meat with crispy pork crisps, ask your butcher to leave the skin intact for a whole pork loin roast.

What is grass fed meat?

Loren Ponica with his cattle at Stemple Creek Ranch.
Loren Ponica of Stemple Creek Ranch.

All Stemple Creek lamb and beef are grass fed on organic pastures. What does this mean for the flavor? It all comes down to fat. “Specifically, the fat has a different flavor – it is more complex because the diet is not the same every day. The grass in the pasture has different stages and therefore there is a certain seasonality,” said Stemple. Creek Compared to conventionally farmed meat, the taste of grass-fed meat is more pronounced (especially in beef), with a unique flavor of game.

When it comes to pork, pasture farming is supreme. Pigs are natural foragers and when raised organically these animals consume a lot of natural foods like acorns and fruit, giving organic pork a deeper, richer flavor than the bland white meat of pigs. industrial breeding.

Cooking tips on seasoning and temperature control

Loren Ponica from Stemple Creek cooking on a grill.

When it comes to cooking roasts, Stemple Creek loves simplicity. Some of their favorite additions include fresh garlic, salt, and pepper. For the lamb, they love the addition of fresh rosemary, an herb that perfectly complements the herbaceous flavor of a good lamb.

One of the most important parts of cooking a large piece of meat is managing temperatures. Stemple Creek prefers their meat cooked at medium rare, a temperature much easier to guarantee on a steak than on a larger roast. The main thing is to invest in a good quality meat thermometer and avoid simply checking the doneness of the roast with your fingers. For medium rare, cook the meat to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, remove it from the heat, and let it rest. At rest, the meat will continue to cook, reaching about 140 degrees. In Stemple Creek’s opinion, it’s better not to overcook than overcook, because you can always bring meat to temperature. For a simple guide to making this great roast food, Stemple Creek follows these simple directions:

  1. Sear upside down for a roast beef.
  2. Preheat the oven or your grill to 250 degrees.
  3. Put the roast in and check the temperature every 20 minutes until it reaches around 120 degrees.
  4. When it reaches 120 degrees, increase the heat to 500 degrees for about 5 minutes – until there is a bubbly brown drizzle outside.
  5. Take it out, let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Slice it and serve.

The great thing about roasts is that after you finish your first meal, there is often a lot of leftover left for other recipes. Stemple Creek loves chopping up their leftover roast beef and pork with vegetables and eggs as a hash for breakfast. You can also slice your roasts and add them to dishes like noodle soups (ramen for example) and sandwiches.

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